Frequently Asked Questions

When can I retire and how is my pension calculated?

You can retire as early as age fifty-five (55) and as late as November 30th of the calendar year in which you turn 71 (as outlined in section 8502(e) of the Income Tax Regulations under the Income Tax Act (Canada). Depending on your age and years of service at retirement, you will receive either an unreduced or a reduced pension. For full details on pensions and how they are calculated, see the "FAQ" section under each plan of the Pension Corporation website www.pensionsbc.ca or contact your HR Advisor for an estimate.

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What pension plan am I in?

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What can I do to increase my pension?

You may be able to increase your pension benefits by purchasing eligible leaves of absence, past non-contributory service or by transferring service from another eligible pension plan. See the "Near Retirement FAQ" section of each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca or contact HR.

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If I've contributed to more than one pension plan, how will my pension be paid?

You may be able to combine your services if you are/have been a member of the College, Municipal, Public Service, Teacher's, ICBC or WorkSafeBC Pension Plan. See the "Publications", "Pensionfacts" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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In the event of my death, who is the beneficiary for my pension?

Your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your pension. To choose another beneficiary, you need written consent from your spouse. If you don't have a spouse and you haven't named a beneficiary prior to your death, the plan pays death benefits to your estate. For more information, visit the "Retired Members", "Publications" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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What is the definition of spouse?

Under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, spouse means:

(a) The person you are legally married to and, for the two-year period immediately before the relevant time (e.g., retirement or death), were not separated from* OR;

(b) The person of the same or opposite sex, who has lived with you in a marriage-like relationship for the two-year period immediately before the relevant time.

*You are not considered separated if the separation is due to health reasons.

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How do separation and divorce affect my pension?

If you divorce or separate, you and your spouse must decide if and how your pension will be divided. To see how divorce or separation affects your pension, visit the Publications, "Pensionfacts" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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What benefits am I entitled to from BCIT upon retirement?

  Vacation Sick Leave Retirement Allowance Pre-Retirement Leave
BCGEU Instructional Staff Full vacation entitlement for the final calendar year of service 50% of accumulated sick leave credit (if applicable) Retirement allowance for employees who have completed 20 or more years of continuous service and who are entitled to receive a Pension Corporation allowance.
BCGEU Support Staff Full vacation entitlement for the final calendar year of service 50% of accumulated sick leave credit (if applicable) Retirement allowance for employees who have completed 20 or more years of continuous service and who are entitled to receive a Pension Corporation allowance.
Faculty & Staff Association Pro-rated vacation for the calendar year 40% of accumulated sick leave credit An employee scheduled to retire and to receive a Pension Corporation allowance under the Pension Corporation Act, shall be entitled to:
  1. A special leave for a period equivalent to forty percent (40%) of accumulated Sick Leave credit, to be taken immediately prior to retirement;                
  2. A special cash payment of an amount equivalent to the cash value of the forty percent (40%) of accumulated Sick Leave credit, to be paid immediately prior to retirement and based upon the employee’s current rate of pay
  3. A combination of a) & b)
Management Staff Pro-rated vacation for the calendar year N/A N/A

BCIT will cover you for one additional month for MSP, Extended Health and Dental.

Your Group Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) will be reduced from your current level to a flat $10,000 policy at retirement. The reduced coverage will be maintained at BCIT's expense until you reach the age of 70.

Should you wish to convert your coverage at retirement to a standard plan without taking a medical examination, you may apply to Manulife directly.

Your application must be made within 31 days of your 65th birthday or on your last day of employment, whichever occurs first. Any such additional coverage will be at your own expense. Current premiums are based on age, ordinary life, 1 year convertible term or term to 65, and life insurance.

For further details, please contact Manulife at 1 (800) 575-2200.

Note: the information above only applies if you retire on or before the age of 65. For more information on benefit entitlements, if you retire after the age of 65, please refer to the Memorandum of Agreement regarding Mandatory Retirement for your employee group.

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What benefits am I entitled to from the pension plan upon retirement?

Upon retirement, you are eligible for:

Premium payments may be subsidized up to 100% by the pension plan depending on your length of pensionable service. If you are not subsidized up to 100%, the difference in premium costs will be deducted from your monthly pension cheque. For more detailed information see "Retired Members", "Publications" under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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What benefits are available from the Federal Government upon retirement?


Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

You are eligible for a CPP retirement pension if:

Your CPP does not start automatically. You should apply six (6) months before you wish these benefits to commence. To apply, or find information on eligibility and payment information, visit the Service Canada website .

Old Age Security (OAS)

The Government of Canada introduced measures in 2012 to gradually increase the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) between the years 2023 and 2029, from 65 to 67. People currently receiving OAS benefits will not be affected by the changes. Visit the "Eligibility" section of the OAS website below to see how your eligibility may change according to your birth year.

Need more information on CPP or OAS? Visit the Service Canada website .

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What pension options are available to me under the Pension Corporation?

When you apply for your pension, you will be given a variety of options to choose, including spousal benefits, if you have a spouse. You will receive a "Retirement Selection Statement" that quotes the various pension option combinations as well as the amounts those options will pay each month.

Single Life with a 10 Year Guarantee

Under this standard pension, the guarantee period begins the date your pension starts and continues for 10 years.

The pension is payable for as long as you live, and continues to be paid to your beneficiary if you die before the guarantee period expires.

Payments to your beneficiary continue for the amount of time left in the guarantee period.

If your beneficiary dies before you do, and before the guarantee period ends, you may name another beneficiary.

If you don't name another beneficiary before you die, the plan will pay the remaining payments in the guarantee period to your estate in a lump sum. No payments are made to your estate if you die after the guarantee period ends.

Other Guarantees on a Single Life Pension

You can also choose a guarantee period of 5 or 15 years on a single life pension. Other than the duration of the guarantee period, these options work the same as the 10-year option.

The final option for a single life pension is a combination of a single life pension with a 5 year guarantee and a temporary annuity.

*The Pension Benefit Standards Act requires that anyone with a spouse must select at least a 60% joint life option. Therefore, if you have a spouse, you may only select a single life option if your spouse signs a "Spousal Waiver" form.

Joint Life Pension

A joint life pension includes both you and your spouse. In other words, if your spouse lives longer than you do, he or she continues to get a pension, based on the percentage of joint life pension you select at retirement. You can choose from 60% or 100% joint life options.

Temporary Annuity

A temporary annuity supplements your pension and is payable until you reach age 65 or die, whichever comes first. This option may help you meet the initial expenses of retirement; however, it permanently reduces your lifetime pension. When the temporary annuity ends, you receive smaller pension payments than you would have if you had left your basic pension intact.

Bridge Benefit (Offset)

This portion of the pension is payable until you reach age 65 or die, whichever occurs first. If you retire before age 65 and choose to apply for CPP early, you will still receive the Bridge Benefit plus your reduced pension from CPP.

For more information, refer to the "Publications", "Booklets, Pamphlets and Guides" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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Will my pension be eligible for cost of living adjustments?

A cost-of-living increase of up to 100% of the increase in the Canadian Consumer Price Index is applied to pensions in January, if there are sufficient funds in the Inflation Adjustment Account.

Effective 1 January 2011, cost-of-living increases will be determined and capped at three year intervals during the actuarial valuation process. This process takes a "snapshot" of the membership at a given date to determine the plan's liabilities and funded status.

The first increase will be pro-rated based on the number of payments you receive in the calendar year your pension begins. Although future cost-of-living increases are not guaranteed, once a cost-of-living increase is granted, it becomes part of the guaranteed lifetime pension.

For more information visit the "Retired Members", "Information" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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What steps are included in the retirement process?

These are recommended timelines to follow in the retirement process.

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When will my pension start?

Your retirement date is typically the last day of a month and the effective date of your pension is the first day of the following month.

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Is my pension taxable?

Yes. Income tax will be deducted from your monthly pension payments, based on information provided by you on your Personal Tax Credit Form. If you want to pay additional taxes, you have to submit your request in writing.

The Pension Corporation will send you an income tax form at the end of February each year.

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How and when will my pension be paid?

Pension payments can be mailed to your home or directly deposited to your bank, at the end of each month, for that month. To ensure you receive your pension payment on time, the Pension Corporation suggests you consider the direct deposit option.

More information is available in the "FAQ", "After Retirement" section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.

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What documentation will I have to provide when I retire?

Proof of age documentation (copy of driver's license, birth certificate or Passport) must be provided when you return your pension package to the Pension Corporation. In addition, if you choose a pension option that includes a spouse (such as a Joint Life and Last Survivor option), proof of age documentation is also required for your spouse.

If the name on your or your spouse's ID is different than the name that you or your spouse use today, you must also provide change of name documentation (e.g. marriage certificate). Please note that the Pension Corporation requires documentation for every name change, not just the most recent one.

In addition, you must declare your current marital status on a Spousal Declaration form, regardless of whether you are single, living common-law, or married.

If you have a spouse, you will be required to select a Joint Life and Last Survivor option. In the event of your death, this provides for at least 60% of your monthly pension to continue to be paid to your spouse as beneficiary.

You can opt out of this option only if your spouse waives this entitlement by signing the Pension Plan Options and the Spousal Waiver forms, which must be witnessed.

These forms are included in your pension package.

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Where can I obtain copies of marriage certificates and/or birth certificates?

Copies can be obtained through the Department of Vital Statistics in your birth province (or birth country if you were born outside Canada). There is normally a nominal fee charged for this service. For further details please visit BC Vital StatisticsTop

Can I return to work at BCIT after I retire?

If an employee retires from the (College, Municipal or Public Service) Pension Plan and then returns to work in an employee category under the same plan as they retired from, they continue receiving their pension and do not have an option to re-enrol in or contribute to the same plan. If an employee is receiving a pension from a different pension plan, or is receiving a pension as a survivor of a deceased member, regular enrolment rules apply.

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What is the "BCIT Retiree's Association" and how do I join?

The BCIT Retiree's Association (BCITRA) is an association established for BCIT retirees and their spouses/partners. Membership has a number of benefits and a very low annual membership fee.

For membership benefits, application and details, visit the BCIT Retiree's Association website. Alternately, you may contact them at:

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